Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.
Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.
Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.
Hello from the Metrodome for the final time. The Vikings will close down the Dome today against the Lions and two of the best players in the NFL won't be on the field.
Adrian Peterson was declared out on Saturday because of groin and foot injuries. The Lions made wide receiver Calvin Johnson inactive because of a knee injury. Johnson was listed as questionable after missing practice all week.
The Vikings also will be without Peterson's backup, Toby Gerhart, who was declared out because of a hamstring injury. Matt Asiata will make his second career start in their absence.
No real surprises in the Vikings other inactives: quarterback Josh Freeman, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, offensive tackle Mike Remmers, wide receiver Rodney Smith and defensive tackle Letroy Guion.
Rhodes was listed as questionable because of an ankle sprain.
Adrian Peterson admits he was "uncomfortable" in Sunday's loss at Cincinnati. Groin and foot injuries have limited his ability to perform, but Peterson said he's hopeful that he will be able to play the season and Metrodome finale Sunday against Detroit.
“I’m feeling OK," he said. "I’ve felt better. My body has been able to rest a little bit. I’m trying to push to Sunday.”
Peterson planned to practice Thursday to see how his body feels. He said that will give him some idea of his availability for Sunday.
“With a couple of more days of rest in front of me, I’ll be able to distinguish if I’ll be able to go out there be productive," he said. "Stay tuned. Right now my mindset is to be out there and finish strong with my teammates.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier removed Peterson from the Cincinnati game early in the second half because the Bengals had a big lead and Peterson clearly was not himself. Peterson said the groin injury that's bothered him for weeks actually gave him more trouble than his right foot sprain.
"The foot was a pain that I already had set in my mind that I was going to have to deal with," he said. "Sometimes when I was pushing off, I felt it. I got tackled a couple of times and twisted up and the pain kind of stuck around for a minute. But that’s something I knew I was going to have to deal with. As far as explosion, that kind of hindered me a little bit. The groin as well. So I felt uncomfortable Sunday.”
The Vikings don't expect to have Toby Gerhart available on Sunday. He re-aggravated a hamstring injury chasing down a fumble return on the opening series against the Bengals.
CINCINNATI -- Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart will play today against the Bengals.
Both Peterson (foot sprain) and Gerhart (hamstring) were listed as questionable but the team expected to have both available after watching them practice this week.
There were no real surprises on the inactive list: quarterback Josh Freeman, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, running back Matt Asiata, offensive tackle Mike Remmers, wide receiver Rodney Smith, defensive tackle Chase Baker and defensive end Justin Trattou.
Rhodes was declared out on Friday because of an ankle sprain. Shaun Prater will start in his place.
Adrian Peterson admitted he wasn't happy when Vikings coach Leslie Frazier informed him last week that he would be inactive against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Peterson was listed as questionable because of a foot sprain, but he felt healthy enough to play.
"Man, words can’t even express it," Peterson said. "I was hot. I was devastated. I was looking forward to play and being out there with the guys. I didn’t get my way that day."
Peterson officially is listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Cincinnati, but he expects to play. Peterson did some work in Friday's practice and said his foot is making progress.
"I’m looking forward to playing this week," he said. "Get another day to rest [Saturday] which is going to be good. I’ll be ready to roll."
Rookie Xavier Rhodes (ankle) is the only player that Frazier declared as out on the final injuiry report. Tight end John Carlson is listed as doubtful after experiencing concussion symptoms on Thursday after returning to practice a day earlier. Frazier raised the possibility that Carlson might not play the final two games because of his concussion history.
Running back Matt Asiata (ankle) also is listed as questionable.
The Vikings will be without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart today against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mall of America Field.
Both players were officially declared out with the inactives. Peterson (foot sprain) and Gerhart (hamstring) had been listed as questionable on the final injury report.
The two made some improvement throughout the week, but not enough to risk playing Sunday.
Matt Asiata will start in place of Peterson. Asiata has only three carries in his career, none this season. The Vikings promoted Joe Banyard from the practice squad on Saturday to provide some depth.
On defense, the Vikings will be without their starting cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook. Rhodes was listed as doubtful because of the ankle injury. Cook was questionable after being added to the injury report on Friday because of a knee injury.
The Vikings haven't announced lineup changes, but it sounds like Marcus Sherels and Shaun Prater will start with converted safety Robert Blanton remaining in the nickel role.
The other inactives are quarterback Josh Freeman, offensive guard Brandon Fusco (knee) and tight end John Carlson (concussion),
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